143035_DBW Course_r3

Chapter 4 X Personal Watercraft

ANATOMY OF A PERSONAL WATERCRAFT Personal watercraft, or PWC, are small jet-driven powerboats 13 feet in length or less. The pumps draw water into the housing, through something called the impeller, which compresses the water and forces it through the steerable nozzle, pushing the boat forward—see picture on page 94. (PWCs are often called “Jet Skis,” which is a trademark of Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA.) Personal watercraft come in three main styles: stand-up, sit-down sport class (one or two people), and sit-down for three to four people. The stand-up style carries only one person, who stands while operating the vessel, while the sit-down style has seats for one to four people.

The main components of a PWC are the: ƒ Hull—the body of the boat.

ƒ Deck—flat surfaces such as the seat, foot wells and compartment covers. ƒ Throttle—mounted on the handlebars, regulates how much fuel goes to the engine and controls the speed and steering ability. ƒ Other controls—include the on/off switch and the engine cut-off or “kill” switch with an attached lanyard. ƒ Steering nozzle—located at the rear of the pump and controlled by the handlebars.

PWC from Side View

steering control


lanyard (engine cut-off switch)


PWC from Back View



steering nozzle



California Course for Safe Boating

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